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The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time 

Ranker TV
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Updated July 15, 2020 66.8k votes 7.5k voters 478.4k views 87 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite comedy shows about or targeted to African Americans.

Viewers love these top African American comedy series for many reasons. They often portray life in the Black community and the inner-workings of an African American family. Often they have interesting or eccentric characters and they’re just downright funny. Although there have been good Black sitcoms and not-so-good Black sitcoms, these are some of the best African American comedy shows you can watch, old or new, including some of the best Black sitcoms of the decade.

The best Black sitcoms on TV today are descended from an interesting heritage. The first Black sitcom-type program, Amos ‘n’ Andy, began its run in 1950, but it inspired controversy - protests against it claimed that it portrayed Black people in an unfavorable, lower-class light. Black sitcoms began to come into their own with Sanford and Son, which many critics believe readied the general public to receive The Cosby Show in the 80s. A far cry from Amos ‘n’ Andy, The Cosby Show featured Black characters who were educated and intelligent, earning it a spot as one of the best African-American comedy shows.

Of course, some of the best Black sitcoms have faded in popularity with age. Remember 90s Black sitcoms like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Although the Fresh Prince no longer holds a prime time spot, Will Smith is still one of the funniest Black characters (and actors) of all time. Other unforgettable African American characters that earn their shows a place on this list include Martin Payne (Martin) played by comedian Martin Lawrence, Weezie (The Jeffersons), and Arnold Jackson (Diff’rent Strokes).

With many Black sitcoms to choose from today, viewers shouldn’t be at a loss for great African-American comedy shows. Black sitcoms may have changed over the years, but the best Black comedy shows will continue to be enjoyed for years to come.

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list ordered by
1
Martin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Thomas Mikal Ford

Premiered: 1992

Martin (Fox, 1992) is an American sitcom created by John Bowman, Martin Lawrence, and Topper Carew. A radio and television personality (Martin Lawrence) living with his girlfriend Gina (Tisha ...more
2
The Fresh Prince of Bel-... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro

Premiered: 1990

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from September 10, 1990, to May 20, 1996. The show stars Will Smith as a fictionalized version of ...more
3
My Wife and Kids is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Damon Wayans, Tisha Campbell-Martin, George Gore II

Premiered: 2001

My Wife & Kids (ABC, 2001) is an American sitcom television series created by Don Reo and Damon Wayans. Michael Kyle longs for a traditional life, but his day-trader wife Janet, gangsta ...more
4
Sanford and Son is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page

Premiered: 1972

Sanford and Son is an American sitcom, based on the BBC's Steptoe and Son, that ran on the NBC television network from January 14, 1972, to March 25, 1977. Known for its edgy racial humor, ...more
5
Everybody Hates Chris is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, Tequan Richmond

Premiered: 2005

Everybody Hates Chris is an American sitcom based on the teenage experiences of African American comedian Chris Rock. The show is set between 1982 and 1987, but Rock himself was a teenager from ...more
6
A Different World is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Lisa Bonet, Kadeem Hardison, Jasmine Guy

Premiered: 1987

A Different World (NBC, 1987) is an American sitcom created by Bill Cosby, and a spin-off of The Cosby Show. A group of students struggles to make it through college as they attend a renowned ...more
7
The Bernie Mac Show is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Bernie Mac, Kellita Smith, Jeremy Suarez

Premiered: 2001

The Bernie Mac Show is an American sitcom that aired on Fox for five seasons from November 14, 2001 to April 14, 2006. The series featured comic actor Bernie Mac and his wife Wanda raising his ...more
8
Family Matters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Reginald VelJohnson, Jaleel White, Kellie Shanygne Williams

Premiered: 1989

Family Matters is an American sitcom which originated on ABC network from September 22, 1989 to May 9, 1997 and then aired on CBS network from September 19, 1997, to July 17, 1998. A spin-off of ...more
9
The Cosby Show is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam

Premiered: 1984

The Cosby Show is an American television sitcom starring Bill Cosby, which aired for eight seasons on NBC from September 20, 1984 until April 30, 1992. The show focuses on the Huxtable family, ...more
10
Good Times is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
BernNadette Stanis, Ralph Carter, Jimmie Walker

Premiered: 1974

Good Times is an American sitcom that originally aired from February 8, 1974, until August 1, 1979, on CBS. It was created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans, and developed by Norman Lear, the series' ...more
11
The Jeffersons is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Marla Gibbs

Premiered: 1975

This is arguably of of the best 80s Black TV shows.

The Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through July 2, 1985, lasting 11 seasons and a total of 253 episodes. The show was produced by the T.A.T. ...more
12
Living Single is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Queen Latifah, Kim Coles, Erika Alexander

Premiered: 1993

Living Single is an American television sitcom that aired for five seasons on the FOX network from August 29, 1993, to January 1, 1998. The show centered on the lives of six friends who share ...more
13
In Living Color is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
looksharp added Keenen Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, Kelly Coffield Park

Premiered: 1990

In Living Color is an American sketch comedy television series that originally ran on Fox from April 15, 1990, to May 19, 1994. Brothers Keenen and Damon Wayans created, wrote and starred in the ...more
14
Sister, Sister is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Jackée Harry

Premiered: 1994

Sister, Sister is an American television sitcom starring identical twins Tia and Tamera Mowry. It aired from 1994 to 1999. The premise of the show was that the girls were separated and adopted ...more
15
The Wayans Bros. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, John Witherspoon

Premiered: 1995

The Wayans Bros. ist eine US-amerikanische Komödie welche als Fernseh-Serie in den Jahren 1995 bis 1999 ausgestrahlt wurde. In den Hauptrollen, die Brüder Shawn und Marlon Wayans.
16
The Jamie Foxx Show is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
The Jamie Foxx Show Jamie Foxx, Garrett Morris, Garcelle Beauvais

Premiered: 1996

The Jamie Foxx Show is an American television sitcom that aired on the WB Network from August 28, 1996 to January 14, 2001. The series stars Jamie Foxx, Garcelle Beauvais, Christopher B. Duncan, ...more
17
The Boondocks is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Regina King, John Witherspoon, Gary Anthony Williams

Premiered: 2005

The Boondocks is an American adult animated sitcom on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim. Created by Aaron McGruder, based upon McGruder's comic strip of the same name, ...more
18
Black-ish is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Douglasschip added Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi

Premiered: 2014

Black-ish (ABC, 2014) is an American sitcom created by Kenya Barris. A family man (Anthony Anderson) struggles to gain a sense of cultural identity while raising his kids in a predominantly ...more
19
The Proud Family is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
KailaniGriffin added Kyla Pratt, Tommy Davidson, Jo Marie Payton

Premiered: 2001

The Proud Family is an American animated television sitcom that ran on the Disney Channel from September 21, 2001 to August 19, 2005. In 2011, reruns of The Proud Family were shown on the ...more
20
Girlfriends is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White

Premiered: 2000

Girlfriends (UPN, 2000) is an American sitcom created by Mara Brock Akil. A look at the lives, loves, and losses of four different women, Toni, Maya, Lynn, and Joan.
21
Diff'rent Strokes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain

Premiered: 1978

Diff'rent Strokes is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from November 3, 1978, to May 4, 1985, and on ABC from September 27, 1985, to March 7, 1986. The series stars Gary Coleman ...more
22
Moesha is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Brandy Norwood, William Allen Young, Marcus T. Paulk

Premiered: 1996

Moesha is an American sitcom series that aired on the UPN network from January 23, 1996, to May 14, 2001. The series stars R&B singer Brandy Norwood as Moesha Denise Mitchell, a high school ...more
23
The Steve Harvey Show is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, Merlin Santana

Premiered: 1996

The Steve Harvey Show, was a sitcom that aired from 1996 to 2002 on The WB Television Network. It was created by Winifred Hervey and directed by Stan Lathan.
24
The Parkers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
alishajcurtis added Mo'Nique, Dorien Wilson, Countess Vaughn

Premiered: 1999

Mo'Nique,  Countess Vaughn, Dorien Wilson, Yvette Wilson, Jenna von Oy, Ken Lawson
The Parkers (UPN, 1999) is an American sitcom created by Ralph Farquhar, Sara V. Finney, and Vida Spears. Young and peppy Kim (Countess Vaughn) is traumatized after her mother (Mo'Nique) decides ...more
25
That's So Raven is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time
Raven-Symoné, Orlando Brown, Anneliese van der Pol

Premiered: 2003

That's So Raven is an American supernatural teen sitcom television series. It debuted on the Disney Channel on January 17, 2003, and ended its run on November 10, 2007. The show spawned Disney ...more